Tim Carney borrows a line from another great writer just over a year ago. The purpose of the law is to funnel people into the government exchanges. If the administration hadn’t (lawlessly) delayed the employer mandate, the problem would be orders of magnitude larger. That we can look forward to next year at re-enrollment time. #Itoldyouso
But don’t forget: The purpose of Obamacare was to outlaw many health insurance plans. The administration and its proxies constantly call these plans “junk insurance.” One of Obama’s reportedly favorite columnists, Josh Barro, made the case clearly in an article for Business Insider: “If You Like Your Health Plan, You Probably Shouldn’t Be Able To Keep It.”
Obama wanted to outlaw low-premium insurance for three reasons:
Paternalism: Some people’s insurance didn’t cover very much, and thus these people were vulnerable.
Redistribution: Forcing healthy people to buy more expensive insurance is a stealth way of taxing them to cover the insurance of people who need more expansive insurance.
Cronyism: Industries supporting the law wanted people to have to buy coverage for their goods and services.
So yes, not every cancellation this fall is due to Obamacare. But don’t let Democrats pretend their law isn’t canceling plans. For liberals, killing your health insurance was a feature of Obamacare, not a bug.
Anything and everything must be done to launch and protect the government exchanges, because they’re the vehicle to single payer. Must… buy… time… and hope…
UPDATE: from Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt this morning:
Did you catch Obama’s Thursday press conference? If you are not a fan of this president, you may want to put aside some time and watch it. More specifically, you’ll really want to watch it if you’ve been wondering when the rest of the world would see the same guy you’ve been seeing since, oh, 2007 or so . . . in over his head, out of touch with the real world, banal in his off-the-cuff remarks, and unable to distinguish between good intentions and genuine results.
Sure, Obama’s remarks drag on interminably, but there’s something revealing in those hapless, meandering, slow remarks. Our Charlie Cooke said Obama looked “broken.” Sometime in the past day or so, the mobile bubble of happy-talk was pierced, and he’s starting to realize the scope and depth of the mess he’s in, and how unlikely he is to get out of this mess for the remainder of his presidency.
Ultimately, his big idea doesn’t work. It began with a promise he never could have kept (insurance policies aren’t carved in stone). It advanced through a smoke-and-mirrors p.r. campaign obscuring the taxes, the regulations, and the considerable trade-offs. His idea was greatly complicated by the epic failure of a website he was completely convinced was ready. But even if the website stopped crashing, Obamacare would ultimately run afoul of one or more of the other lurking problems: disinterest among the young, sticker shock among buyers, lack of cyber-security, and the threat of identity theft.
Americans are starting to realize who the biggest losers under Obamacare are: “in good health, relatively young, with moderate to high incomes, and not receiving health insurance through work.” People like Kirsten Powers. These folks haven’t done anything wrong, and they’ve made the responsible choice to buy health insurance even though they don’t get it through their employer. And they’re getting punished for making that responsible choice. As Powers noted, “There’s no explanation for the doubling of my premiums other than the fact that it’s subsidizing other people.”
Of course, if Obama had pitched his health-care-reform plan as an effort at economic redistribution that would include millions of Americans losing their insurance and millions more facing higher premiums, it never would have passed.
Maybe this is the most significant moment from Obama’s press conference, where he came dangerously close to admitting that he never really understood health insurance at all:
What we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy. And another mistake that we made, I think, was underestimating the difficulties of people purchasing insurance online and shopping for a lot of options with a lot of costs and lot of different benefits and plans and — and somehow expecting that that would be very smooth.
“We” are not discovering this, Mr. President. You and your team are. You clearly had no real idea of how your system was going to work, or what the average uninsured person needed. The “complicated nature” of buying insurance that you’ve suddenly discovered is the precise opposite of what you were saying October 1:
Just visit healthcare.gov, and there, you can compare insurance plans side-by-side the same way you’d shop for a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon. You enter some basic information, you’ll be presented with a list of quality, affordable plans that are available in your area with clear descriptions of what each plan covers and what it will cost.
Five years into his presidency, Obama announced Wednesday that he now realizes that the federal government has a really hard time keeping up with the latest technology.
And you combine that with the fact that the federal government does a lot of things really well. One of the things it does not do well is information technology procurement. You know, this is kind of a systematic problem that we have across the board.
If only he could get into some sort of elected position where he could have some sort of influence over how the government operates.